Interesting take on religion from the New York Times today. It reports, in very thankful terms, that although religion seems to be on the rise in the world, "fundamentalism" isn’t. According to the tone of the Times article, it doesn’t really matter what you believe when it comes to religion as long as you aren’t one of those crazy fundamentalist wackos, because they are "exclusivistic" and make other people uncomfortable. Good religion, according to the Times, is open and accepting, while bad religion is close-minded and exclusivistic.
This is just another example of the wrong way to judge different religions. If you shouldn’t become a fundamentalist (of any variety), it is not because it makes other people antsy or that it has exclusivistic truth-claims – it is because that particular brand of fundamentalism is false. I’m not about to go join a Islamist sect, but it is not because I don’t like what they do (although I don’t), it is because I think the god they worship does not exist. I think they are completely misled about reality.
As I always say, the question to ask of religion is not "What do I like about it or dislike about it?" but "Is it true?" The Times never addresses this question.